Health and

Critical Risk management program

Downer recorded a 33 per cent reduction in the occurrence of High Potential Incidents from FY18 to FY19.

The top 10 Critical Risk activities experiencing a High Potential Incident in FY19 were:

  • Working with mobile plant or equipment
  • Vehicles and driving
  • Working at height
  • Working with electricity
  • Falling or dropped objects
  • Working with stored hazardous energy
  • Working in vicinity of existing services
  • Working on or near rolling stock
  • Working in a confined space
  • Working with hazardous substances.

Across the longer term, (FY15 to FY19), Downer has achieved a 56 per cent reduction of High Potential Incidents. This is of particular note, as exposure hours have increased across this timeframe. Reductions across the 10 Critical Risk activities over this timeframe are:

Critical Risk activity
Working with cranes and lifting equipment
Impact from external threats
Working at height
Working with stored hazardous energy
Working with mobile equipment
Vehicles and driving
Working in vicinity of existing services
Working on or near rolling stock
Falling or dropped objects
Working with electricity

These results show that the Critical Risk program is proving an effective method in managing and monitoring these risks. However, it should be noted that even with these positive results, the exposure to these risks remains present and these incidents continued to occur. This demonstrates why we must remain focused on the importance of Critical Risk management and the relevant initiatives aimed to address their individual risks.

Downer continued to mature our already robust processes for planning, implementation and continual management of Critical Risks within our operations. Downer’s Critical Risk program gives the business a clear understanding of the control strategies needed to identify and manage their Critical Risks and helps define the required critical controls in a simple format.

This year Downer commenced a Process Safety project and a Critical Risk consolidation program. The Process Safety project is sponsored by our Asset Services function, and will continue into FY20. The consolidation program involved analysing 77 of the identified Critical Risks within the Divisions to identify commonality, with a view to creating a single set of Critical Risk bowtie methods of analysis to be applied throughout Downer. The program will build on our understanding of the management and verification of critical controls and their performance. The program has also helped refine the volume of critical controls and promoted risk management leadership through engagement with General Managers to sponsor Critical Risks relevant to their businesses.

The project is currently focusing on improving the analysis, datasheets, performance standards and verification tools for the following five Critical Risks:

  • Vehicle or mobile plant impact
  • Fall of a person from height
  • Contact with electrical energy
  • Uncontrolled release of stored energy
  • Persons struck from falling objects.

Substantial progress was made this year in delivering on the focus areas that were disclosed in last year’s report, including embedding Downer’s Critical Risk program into new acquisitions, improving safety leadership programs, and the introduction of a Group-wide mental health program.